Differences between Quickbooks Desktop and Quickbooks Online (QBO)

Understand the differences between Quickbooks Desktop and QBO.
1099 support

  • Tax ID and 1099 flag convert.

  • 1099s are only supported in the Plus version of QBO. There is no preference to turn it on, it is available by default.

Accountant's review (Accountant’s Copy process)

  • QBO allows you to add up to 2 accountant users.

  • This lets your accountant access your QBO company from anywhere with an internet connection, so there's no need for an accountant's review copy of the file to be sent out and synchronized later.


  • All accounts (except non-posting accounts) are converted from QB Desktop edition to QBO.

  • Transactions in balance sheet accounts and transactions assigned to income or expense accounts are converted.

  • For each account, the account number, type, name, description, and subaccount structure is converted.

  • The bank account number (if any) and notes (if any) are not converted. (There is no Notes field in edit acct window anyway)

  • QBO has an additional level of account typing, called the "detail type." 

  •  For example, expense accounts can have a number of detail types, such as Advertising, Supplies and Materials, Legal Fees, and so on. 

  • For accounts where the detail type is obvious (for example, Undeposited Funds), the conversion process assigns that detail type. 

  • For accounts where it isn't clear what the detail type should be (the majority of accounts are like this), the conversion process assigns a generic detail type within the type, such as Other Miscellaneous Income.

    • Run the Account Listing report (Reports/All Reports/Accountant Reports) post conversion to review the Detail Types assigned. Drilling into the report brings you to the edit account window where you can update the Detail type.  

Audit trail

  • The audit trail QB Desktop edition is not converted to QBO. 

  • QBO has its own automatic Audit Log with a detailed audit trail of every transaction that is added or changed, and the log in/out of users accessing the file.

  • Activity logging is always "on" with no space constraints.

  • To see the log, click Gear Icon>Tools menu > Activity Log.  Open the audit trail for a transaction by clicking View in the History column. Transaction History report can be accessed by clicking the More tab at bottom of most forms.

Bills and bill payments

  • QBO Essentials and Plus feature Enter Bills/Pay Bills.

  • All bills and bill payments in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO. The following information either isn't converted or is "translated":


  • Excludes inventory Item information: just the correct general ledger accounts are affected.

  • Inventory Items on purchase orders.  Line item information in your QBDT POs (any purchase transaction, posting or not) is converted to the line item description field in the Account Details section of the QBO Plus transaction.

    • Two-sided items do convert to the Item Details section of the QBO Plus PO.

    • Note: Essentials and Simple Start do NOT support two sided items. Only Plus.

  • Item receipts are converted as bills.  The Bill Received check box doesn't convert. 

Bill Payments

  • The Discount applied to bill in QBDT is converted as a Vendor Credit. The address on bill pmt check is replaced by Vendor address in Vendor list.


  • Although QBO has a similar budgets feature, your QB Desktop edition budgets are not converted.


  • All of the classes on your Class List are converted, and all transactions that have classes are converted with their class information intact.

Closing Date

  • Your QB Desktop edition closing date is converted. The password is not.

  • After conversion the Exceptions to Closing Date report will no longer show the exceptions that you had accumulated. Instead, new exceptions will be tracked beginning on the date that you convert your company file.

Credit card charges

  • All credit card charges in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO. The new QBO has no specific “Credit Card Charge” form. CC charges fall under the Expense form reflecting credit card used for the charge. The payment method does not convert to the Expense transaction.

  • Credit card credits are converted to credit card credits.

  • Bill payments made by credit card are converted like bill payments.

Credit memos and refunds

  • All the credit memos and refund checks in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted (with the same limitations as invoices) to credit memos and checks, respectively, in QBO.

  • The product/service on the CM will reflect the item that was on the CM in QBDT.

Custom fields on lists

  • QBO currently does not support custom fields on customers, vendors, employees, or items. 

  • If you have custom fields in your QB Desktop edition data file, that information is not converted to QBO.

  • Note: Sales rep, which converts to a customer field on sales forms.

Customers and jobs

All of your customers in QB Desktop edition are converted to QBO.  Your jobs are converted to "sub-customers."  However, not all of the customer and job information is converted.  See the chart below for conversion details.


Not converted

Pro only not converted


Company Name


First Name


Last Name



Alt Ph.



Bill to Address (except Note)

Ship To Address (except Note)

Tax code/item

Preferred Payment Method

Note (up to 4000 characters)

Inactive status (customer is converted, but as active, not inactive)


Alt. Contact

Customer Type


Price Level

Custom Fields


Credit Limit

Credit Card Information

Job Status

Start Date

Projected End

End Date

Job Description

Job Type

Customer messages

  • Any Customer Message you recorded on sales forms in your QB Desktop edition file is maintained on the sales transactions in QBO Plus. You can continue to assign Customer Messages on sales forms in QBO.  However, when assigning Customer Messages to sales transactions, you will need to enter the message as opposed to selecting it from a predefined list.


  • Although a terms definition can specify the discount to be extended in the event of early payment, QBO doesn't automatically calculate discounts when payments are received.

  • When converting your desktop edition data, discounts already given to customers for early payment of invoices are converted as credit memos, applied to the customer's outstanding balance. The discount will be listed in the Product & Service field entitled “PmntDiscount_Cost of Goods Sold”.

  • Discounts taken from vendors for early payment of bills are converted as vendor credits, applied to the vendor's outstanding balance.


All the employees on your QB Desktop edition Employee List are converted to QBO.  Though some W4 info will not convert, most employee info does, including payroll items, schedules, rates and ss#s. YTD amounts will need to be inputed during the QBO Payroll setup process.

  • Mr./ Ms.

  • First Name

  • M.I.

  • Last Name

  • Address

  • Print As

  • Phone

  • Social Security Number

  • Email

  • Hired

  • Release


  • Estimates do convert. QBO budgets work a little differently.  Instead of turning an estimate into an invoice, you add data from an estimate onto an invoice in QBO.  Also, you assign each estimate a status: either Pending, Accepted, Closed, or Rejected.

  • Also, there is no progress invoicing at this time in QBO. There is a workaround for both Estimate v Actual reporting and Progress Invoicing.

Finance charges

  • Your existing finance charge invoices are converted as invoices in QBO with no data loss. 

  • QBO currently doesn't have an automatic way to assess finance charges for late customer payments. You can run a report to see which customers are overdue and manually add finance charges that will appear on the customers' next invoices.

The conversion process sets you up to use the following workaround:

  1. Notice that if you use finance charges in QB Desktop edition, after conversion, you will have a "product or service" (the QBO equivalent of an item) called "Finance Charge." It has the same rate and account used by your QB Desktop edition finance charge setup. “The item name in QBO is Fin Chg.”

  2. Create an invoice using the finance charge item.

  3. Based on the overdue report, manually enter the amount due for the late penalty charges.

Group items

  • QBO currently doesn't have group items.  If you have group items in your QB Desktop edition data file, they are not converted to the products & services list.

  • For your transactions where group items exist, all components of the groups items are maintained in the transactions in QBO in the following way:

  •  Each item of the group appears on a detail line when you view the transactions.

  • Zero-amount lines are at the start and end of where the group item was so you can see which items were part of the group.

  • The top line shows the group name, and the bottom line shows the group description.

  • Group total will show on last line of invoice in Description field.


  • QBO exports to QB Desktop edition 2004 or later and to Microsoft Excel.

  • QBO doesn't import from or export to other applications using IIF files.

    • Transaction Pro Importer is the 3rd party to use with QBO for importing transactions and unsupported lists from excel or csv.

Inactive elements on lists

  • QBO supports making list elements inactive. Deleting the list element makes it inactive, and there is an “Include Inactive” option in the Settings icon on Name Lists, and at the top of the chart of accounts, to show inactive elements in the list. Also, once an element is inactive (deleted), there is an “Is Inactive” check box in the edit window, if you uncheck it, the element is no longer inactive.

  • If you have accounts, customers or vendors marked as inactive in your QB Desktop edition data file that have an open balance, they are converted to QBO Plus as regular, "active" elements.

  • If there is no balance tied to those names, they will convert as inactive (deleted).

  • Employees and items (products & services) marked inactive in QBDT convert as inactive regardless of balance associated.


QBO Plus tracks inventory (FIFO), and inventory parts from QBDT convert as two sided products & services in QBO to start. Here is end to end video on post conversion work re inventory items:

Here's how QBO handles inventory transactions.

New detail lines are created to represent the effect the purchase or sale made on the inventory asset account or the cost of goods sold (COGS) account. 

  • On converted invoices, sales receipts, credit memos and on some bills, checks and credit card transactions that contained inventory items, in QBO you'll see two new detail lines after each inventory line that represent the inventory asset and COGS amounts. 

  • For each inventory item used on a transaction, we created sub-items:  "Inventory Asset" and "COGS;" the additional lines will use these items.

  • These items contain the same description as their parent item, but have the inventory asset account and COGS account associated with them, respectively.

For example:

If an invoice looked like this in QB Desktop edition...


Red Shirts




it will look like this in QBO Plus after it's converted.


Red Shirts




RedShirts:Inventory Asset






  • This will cause the cash basis reports with COGS amount to be different for any unpaid or partially-paid transactions with inventory items on them.

  • The cash basis amount for any fully paid inventory transactions or non-inventory transactions will be the same.

  • The accrual amount will be unchanged in accrual based reports.

  • See video, How to resolve inventory post conversion work: http://www.screencast.com/t/0hgpGl2MJJwf.


  • All invoices (except pending invoices) in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to invoices in QBO.

  • Because there are some features in QB Desktop edition that aren't available in QBO, the following invoice data is "translated" when it is converted: 

  • PO No. is translated to Custom Field 1.

  • Sales Rep initials are translated to Custom Field.

  • Subtotals do not calculate, but are included in the Description field for that line on the invoice.

  • Group items have zero amount start and end lines showing the group item name and description, respectively. There is also a Group Total line in the last line of the invoice.

  • Sales tax is converted to the tax field on invoice. If a group sales tax item is used, several lines will appear in the body of the invoice to represent and affect the appropriate accounts.

  • Reimbursable expenses get a special "reimbursable expense" item, which has the same expense account used in the expense.

  • Progress Invoices (invoices based on estimates) extra fields are not converted, including: Est Qty, Est Rate, Est Amt, Prior Qty, Prior Avg Qty, Prior Avg Rate, Rate, Prior Amt, Prior %, Curr %, and Total %. There is no true “progress invoicing” feature in QBO, but you can find a workaround in this larger job costing article by Stacy Kildal.

  • Finance Charge invoices are converted as invoices with no data loss.

  • Inventory; see full description.

These things on invoices aren't converted:

Customer fields


 Options & Others


Customer custom fields

Other 1

Other 2

Item custom fields


Logo (but you can add your logo after conversion)

Long text disclaimer

Tax name


  • QBO calls items "products and services," and there is only one type.  Products and services have the following information: 

    • Name

    • Description

    • Is Sub-product/service

    • Rate

    • Account

    • Taxable 

  • Two sided items convert to QBO Plus as two sided items. (Essentials and Simple Start do not support two sided items).

  • Some types of your QB Desktop edition items are converted to products and services (but only the name, description, rate, account, taxable, and sub-item status). Other types are not converted at all.

Item types Converted

Not converted

Service items

Inventory items

Non-inventory items

Other charge items

Discount items (rate is reversed)

Payment items

Sales tax items

Sales tax group items (combined rate)

Subtotal items: 
In transactions, subtotals will be shown in a separate line with text in the Description field indicating they are a subtotal.

Group items

Items on purchases

  • QBO Plus does allow you to use items on purchase forms (checks, credit card expenses, bills)..  See inventory for a description of how inventory transactions are handled in QBO Plus. Items on Purchase Orders do not convert to the PO in QBO Plus, but the item info is found in the Description field on the PO.

  • If you have inventory items on checks or credit card exepnse entries, the item detail will be in the Accountant details tab of the form.  It retains the account used by the item; the name, quantity, and rate of the item are put into the Description field.

  • When you convert from QB Desktop edition to QBO, you won't retain quantity information about your items, but the accounting for items used in purchases remains intact.

  • Two-sided (double sided) items on purchase forms in QBDT convert to the Item Detail section of those same forms in QBO.

Journal entries

  • All the journal entries in your QB Desktop edition data are converted to journal entries in QBO.

  • The only piece of information that isn't converted is a journal entry's billable status; you can't make a journal entry billable in QBO.

  • In rare instances, transactions (such as checks or invoices) in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted into general journal transactions. This translation occurs only if QBO identifies improper or missing information within the original transaction.  An example would be a check that uses an income account instead of a bank account as its source account.  These types of irregular transactions are generally not accepted in QB Desktop edition or QBO.  They may be the result of imported data from other applications, a condense action, or other irregular activity.

Layout customization, templates, and logo

  • QBO currently doesn't have the same degree of customization available for invoices and other forms as the desktop edition does.

  • You can customize some things (such as renaming fields, reordering columns, changing font size, and adding color), and you can currently choose between different template themes for sales forms.

  • None of the templates in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO, and your logo isn't converted.  You can add your logo after conversion, however.

  • You can upload a logo.

Make deposits

  • All deposit transactions are converted intact to QBO.

  • Each detail line on a converted deposit will appear in the Payments section of the QBO Deposits page.

Memorized reports

  • QBO allows you to memorize reports, but none of the reports you memorized in QB Desktop edition are converted. 

  • You need to recreate the reports in QBO and memorize them again.

Merchant account service

  • QBO has its own merchant service, which works similarly to the one in QB Desktop edition.

  • If you're using the QuickBooks Merchant Service, you can transfer it for use with QBO instead.  During conversion, the accounts you used for your merchant service and the transactions in them are converted (see Accounts). However, if you are converting from QB Desktop edition 2003 or later, the credit card information for individual customers is not transferred.

  • To transfer your QuickBooks Merchant Service to QBO, please contact support, or reference this KB article.

Online banking

  • The online banking feature available with QBO downloads bank and credit card transactions automatically.

  • If you convert your QB Desktop edition data file, the accounts you used for online banking and the transactions in them are converted (see Accounts), but you'll need to set them up again for Online Banking from within QBO.

Online bill payment

  • QBO currently doesn't support online bill payment.

  • If you convert your QB Desktop edition data file, the account you used for online bill payment is converted (see Accounts), but the payment service itself isn't available in QBO.

  • Checks marked "To be Sent" are converted, but their online bill payment status is not converted.

    • Note: Could not test as I don't have online bill pay service. Assumed to still be true.

Online billing of customers

  • There are two components to billing customers online: 

    • Sending invoices by email

    • Letting customers pay you online 

  • QBO allows you to send invoices by e-mail, and customers can pay you online once you set up QuickBooks Payments. You can set it up in company settings.

  • If your QB Desktop edition data file has invoices to be sent by email, they are converted to QBO but are not marked "To be sent."

Other names

  • QBO currently doesn't have an Other Names list.

  • All of the "other" names in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to vendors in QBO.


  • QBO requires each user who has access to a company to provide a password when logging in.

  • User names and passwords from QBDT do not convert.

Payment methods

  • All payment methods in your Payment Method List are converted, and all transactions that have payment methods are converted with their payment method intact.

  • The payment method used on customer payment window in QBDT converts to the same in QBO.

  • Post conversion, go to Gear icon/Lists/All Lists/Payment Methods to review.


  • If you're currently using another QuickBooks payroll service (such as QuickBooks Assisted Payroll, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll Plus, or QuickBooks Standard Payroll), you can switch to the QBO Payroll service to manage your payroll.

Payroll items

  • Most payroll items in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO.

  • Transactions and payroll accounts are converted in order to balance your books, but details behind the transactions (such as payroll item breakdown and employee year-to-date numbers) does not convert.

  • Paychecks and liability payments convert as regular checks. These checks do not convert to the QBO Payroll module. But during QBOP setup, you will have opportunity to enter YTD amounts.

  • Liability refunds, adjustment transactions, and opening balance transactions that affect accounts convert to journal entries.

  • Most information about employees is converted, and most payroll information does now convert, including some payroll items, rates, deductions, and payrolls schedules. After you convert your data, you can sign up for QBO Payroll and walk thru the payroll setup interview for all employees, company items and history. You will then be ready to create paychecks and manage your payroll through Online Edition. When you set up payroll, you are asked if another payroll system was previously used. Choose yes. This will allow you to enter year-to-date information for each employee and report any previous liability payments.How to Video: http://www.screencast.com/t/kzyQ1zQr

Pending sales

  • QBO currently doesn't have a way to mark a sale as pending.

  • No pending transactions from your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO.

  • QBO Essentials and Plus have the Delayed Charge form, which is a non-posting sales transaction.

Price levels

  • QBO currently doesn't have a way for you to automatically adjust prices of items (which are called "products and services" in QBO).

  • If you have price levels defined in your QB Desktop edition data file, they are not converted to QBO.

Print checks

  • QBO prints checks (as well as bill payments and refunds), but currently only single-sheet voucher checks from Intuit are guaranteed to work.

  • If your QB Desktop edition data file has checks, bill payments, or refunds marked "To be printed," they are converted and are still considered "To be printed" in QBO. The Action column on Transactions/Expenses window will say “Print check”.

Print forms

  • QBO currentlyprints checks to our voucher stock and 1099 pre-printe forms.

Print mailing labels

  • QBO currently doesn't print mailing labels. 

  • You can create a report of customer, vendor, or employee addresses, copy the report to Excel, and use the data to print mailing labels from Excel.

Progress invoices

  • QBO currently doesn't have a way to turn an estimate into a series of invoices as a project progresses.

  • Any progress invoices in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to invoices. However, all the extra fields and data in them are not converted, including:

  • Estimate Qty

  • Estimate Rate

  • Estimate Amount

  • Prior Quantity

  • Prior Average Quantity

  • Prior Average Rate

  • Prior Amount

  • Prior %

  • Curr %

  • Total %

Purchase orders

  • QBO Plus does have a purchase order feature to help you track what you have ordered and what you have already received from vendors.

  • Here's how QBO maps Purchase Orders when they convert from QB Desktop:

    • Open (desktop) > Open (QBO)

    • Received in Full/Closed (desktop) > Closed (QBO)

  • Imported Purchase Orders that are closed, however, will not be linked to their corresponding Bill.

  • Inventory items convert to the Account Details section of the PO in QBO Plus, the item detail in the Description field.

Receive items

  • All the ways you can receive items in QB Desktop edition (Receive Item & Enter Bill, Receive Item, and Enter Bill for Received Items) are converted as bills. See bills and bill payments for details.

  • If you have inventory items on checks or credit card exepnse entries, the item detail will be in the Accountant details tab of the form.  It retains the account used by the item; the name, quantity, and rate of the item are put into the Description field.

Receive payments

  • Payments received from customers in your QB Desktop edition data file are all converted to payments in QBO.

  • However, discounts are converted to Credit Memos and linked to the payment. And the product/service item on the converted discount that is now a credit memo in QBO is “PmntDiscount_Cost of Goods Sold.


  • QBO allows you to reconcile bank and credit card accounts, just like QB Desktop edition.

  • Even if you're in the middle of reconciling in QB Desktop edition, the reconciled status of your transactions remains the same when you convert to QBO, so you can finish reconciling in QBO.

  • Your past reconciliation reports are not converted to QBO, however all cleared transactions in register will have an “R” in the cleared column in register in QBO.

Reimbursable expenses

  • QBO has "billable expenses," which are similar to reimbursable expenses in QB Desktop edition. In QB Desktop edition, you mark a purchase as reimbursable and assign it to the appropriate customer. When you create the invoice, you can refer to that reimbursable expense and add it to the invoice. At the invoice creation time, you have the option to add a markup. However, in QBO, you specify the markup percentage when creating the purchase instead of when creating an invoice.

  • Reimbursable expenses that have not yet been billed in QB Desktop edition will be converted as billable expenses in QBO.  The default markup percentage will be set to correspond to the preference for markup percent in QB Desktop edition.  Reimbursable items on purchases are converted as billable but the details convert as a “Billable Expense” (for the Items tab detail from purchase forms in QBDT convert to the Accountant Details section in QBO Plus).

  • If you have reimbursable expenses on existing invoices in your QB Desktop edition data file, those lines will continue to exist on the converted invoices with the same account and amount.

  • If you use time tracking, your reimbursable time will be similarly converted.


  • You can add and edit transactions from within QBO registers.

  • All the transactions converted from your QB Desktop edition data file will be included in your QBO registers.


  • QBO puts an alert on your home page when you have important tasks such as things to print or if it's time to create invoices. 

  • QBO currently doesn't let you customize which tasks it should remind you about and when.

  • Reminders do not convert to QBO.


  • QBO doesn't have all the reports that QB Desktop edition does, and some of the reports are slightly different.

  • Although your Accrual Basis reports will match in both products, your Cash Basis reports may not match. This is because cash basis calculations are somewhat subjective, and there are several differences in how the two products calculate what is considered paid.

  • These differences are limited to what is displayed on reports; your actual account balances will always match exactly after conversion.

  • For example, transactions using inventory items affect COGS and Inventory Asset accounts differently in the two products. Any unpaid or partially paid transactions using an inventory item that affects the COGS account will result in differences in the Cash Basis reports. Fully paid transactions will not be affected. The differences are: 

    • In QB Desktop edition, every inventory item on a transaction represents three accounts and three amounts: Income, Inventory Asset, and COGS. One line in the transaction represents three lines, as shown in the Journal Report for the transaction. As Income starts to get paid off by payments, a proportional amount of the payment is included to the COGS lines. This affects the cash basis reports.

    • QBO treats all the lines as separate, so the COGS line is fully paid by the asset line when the invoice is saved.

    • Both products treat the asset account the same way (including the way payments are made to it). 

  • Another example is the use of negative lines on invoices. Suppose you have a service income line of $1000 and a discount of $ -100 and no payments: 

    • In QBO, your cash basis P&L report will show $100 of income and $ -100 of discount.

    • In QB Desktop edition, no portion of an unpaid invoice shows in any cash basis P&L report.

    • Similarly, as payments are received: 

      • QB Desktop edition prorates the amount of the discount that shows in the P&L.

      • QBO continues to show the entire amount. 

    • Your accrual reports are unaffected by this change.

Report customization

  • QBO doesn't have all the report customization options that QB Desktop edition does. 

  • For example, QB Desktop edition allows you to sort by a specific column in either ascending or descending order, and QBO doesn't have these abilities. 

  • QBO does allow extensive filtering and supports exporting a report to Excel to achieve most of the same formatting.

  • You can save your customizations (like memorizing a QBDT report) and schedule the report to be auto sent from QBO.

Sales receipts

  • Sales receipts in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to sales receipts in QBO. 

  • They follow the same rules for conversion as invoices.

Sales rep (converts as a custom field)

  • Any Sales rep names or initials you recorded in transactions in your QB Desktop edition file are maintained in the transactions in QBO. 

  • You can continue to assign sales rep information on sales transactions in QBO and filter reports by sales rep as needed. 

  • However, when assigning sales reps to sales transactions, you'll need to enter the name as opposed to selecting it from a predefined list.

Sales tax

  • QBO now supports multiple sales tax rates on invoices. 

  • QBO does have sales tax items that let you specify different agencies and multiple rates.

  • Sales tax group items (combined rate) are converted.

  • If you have sales tax on existing invoices in your QB Desktop edition data file, the converted invoices in QBO have the tax amount in the tax field on the form.

  • After the conversion, there will be at least two sales tax payable accounts on the Chart of Accounts: one for each old Sales Tax Payable account from QB Desktop and one for each Sales Tax Agency Payable QBO account (set up automatically for each jurisdiction during the conversion). The Sales Tax Payable account(s) from QB Desktop is/are the sub-accounts(s), which you can then make inactive. Use the new Sales Tax Agency Payable account(s) in QBO going forward.

Ship Via

  • Any Ship Via information you recorded on transactions in your QB Desktop edition file is maintained on the transactions in QBO. 

  • You can continue to assign shipping information on transactions in QBO, and continue to filter reports by Ship Via as needed.

  • However, when recording Ship Via information on transactions, you'll need to enter the shipping method as opposed to selecting from a predefined list.

Shortcut list

  • Your Shortcut list and icon bar settings from QB Desktop edition are not converted to QBO. 

  • QBO does have its own keystroke shortcuts, on any QBO window, Hold CTRL and Alt then click /.

Statements and Statement Charges

  • Statements work the same in QBO as they do in QB Desktop edition.

  • Because statements are simply summaries of customer activity within a specified date range, they can be similarly created in QBO.

  • Statement Charges (sales or credits that were entered directly in an A/R register) are converted into invoices.  In QBO, you can't edit data directly in registers.

Synchronize contacts

  • QBO currently does not have a way to synchronize your contacts with other data sources.

Tax support

  • QBO currently doesn't export information to TurboTax or other tax preparation programs.

  • It also doesn't have tax line items assigned to accounts or tax reports.

  • The tax line assignments for your QB Desktop edition accounts are not preserved when the accounts are converted to QBO.  However, QBO has an additional level of account types, called "detail types."  They may help you make tax line assignments to accounts when tax support is available.

  • That being said, when QBO file is accessed via QBOA/accountant user, there is a Book to Tax feature, integrating with Intuit Tax Online.


  • QBO has a terms feature that is very similar to the terms feature in QB Desktop edition. The terms automatically calculate the due date from the transaction date.

  • QBO doesn't have an associated feature to assess finance charges associated with the terms you assign.  Also, discounts for early payments can be specified in terms, but the discount amount isn't automatically calculated.  For example, if a customer pays early enough to qualify for a discount; you'll need to edit the invoice yourself to add the discount.

  • Terms are imported without change with the following additional exceptions: 

    • In QB Desktop edition, a job can't have its own terms; it inherits its terms from its parent customer.  In QBO, the equivalent to a job (a "sub-customer") can have terms, so you can edit the terms later to make them different from those of the parent customer. 

  • The Terms List in every QBO company contains several default terms.  If terms with the same names didn't already exist in your desktop edition company, these default terms are included to your Terms List.

Time tracking

  • QBO Plus has a time tracking feature that's very similar to QB Desktop edition.

  • All the Single Activities and Weekly Activities in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to Single Activity Time Sheets and Weekly Activity Time Sheets, respectively.

Transfer funds

  • All the transfers in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to transfers in QBO.

Type: customer, vendor, job

  • QBO currently doesn't have a way to categorize customers, vendors, or jobs with types the way you can with QB Desktop edition.

  • If you have types in your QB Desktop edition data file, the lists of types aren't converted to QBO.  Also, when customers, vendors, and jobs are converted, their type is not converted.

  • A workaround is to use the Notes tab in the customer record in QBO.

To Do list

  • Your QB Desktop edition To Do notes aren't converted to QBO. 

  • Currently, there is no way to define a task or to do in QBO.

Users & permissions

  • If you have multiple QB Desktop edition users, the users' names are not converted to QBO.

  • You can recreate these users in QBO. 

  • QBO has access permissions that limit the user's ability to see and use different parts of the application.

  • The access permissions in QBO are similar to QB Desktop edition, but they don't allow you to control activity at the level of transactions.


  • All the vendors in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to QBO.  However, not all of the information about vendors is converted.


Not converted


Company Name


First Name


Last Name





Print on Check as



Tax ID



Alt. Contact



Vendor Type

Credit Limit

Custom Fields

Alt. Contact

Alt Ph.

Write checks

  • All checks in your QB Desktop edition data file are converted to checks in QBO.

  • Checks which used Other Names list item as the payee will show the Other Name as a Vendor in Payee field.

Write letters

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